Hamantaschen are shortcrust pastry triangular cookies filled with various fillings, the most infamous of them is poppy seed filling. Personally, I like poppy seeds but it’s a bit challenging and slightly expensive to get freshly ground poppy seeds here in Berlin so I usually stick to Nutella, but this year I thought, why not transforming one of my favorite sandwiches (thank you, ‘Merica) into a cookie?
Traditionally, Hamantaschen, or Oznei Haman (in Hebrew), are made and eaten in Purim (a Jewish holiday) and are sent to friends and family in a “Purim basket” as one of the holiday’s main commandments. It is a very underrated cookie in my opinion, and one of the jokes around the holiday is getting a terrible Purim Basket with store-bought poppy-seed-filled Hamantaschen, which are considered to be the worst possible thing to get.
Other commandments of the holiday are of course wearing costumes and drink into the unknown, or until you can’t tell between the vicious Haman to Mordechai the saint. Because Hamantaschen are holiday goods, you can’t find them around Israel for the rest of the year, and people usually do not make them outside of the holiday time. But I think it’s a great cookie and it deserves way more space in the calendar, so feel free to make them all year long!
The dough is based on this recipe from the blog Pitzpotzim (Hebrew).
– 140 gr flour
– 20 gr cornflour
– ½ tsp salt
– ¼ tsp baking powder
– 40 gr powdered sugar
– 100 gr cold, cubed butter
– 1½ tbsp milk
– ⅓ tsp vanilla paste (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
For the filling:
– firm peanut butter
– jam of your choice
Make the dough: to a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, cornflour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir lightly with a whisk. Add the cold butter and mash between your finger until small crumbs consistency is formed. Add the vanilla and milk and stir with a wooden spoon, a silicone spatula, or your hands. Make sure the vanilla is evenly distributed. At this stage, the dough should come together and be cohesive. Flatten the dough to a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll the chilled dough into less than half a centimeter and cut the dough using a round cookie cutter with a 6.5 cm diameter, or use a glass with thin edges. Do the same with the excess dough until nothing is left. If the dough gets too warm, chill it in the fridge for a few minutes and resume rolling and cutting it. Place the cut cookies onto a tray lined with baking paper or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
In each circle of dough, put ½ a teaspoon peanut butter (in all the circles), then make a little well in the middle to add the jam on top (again, do all the cookies). In to well, drop ¼ a teaspoon of jam (I used sour cherry), close them into a triangle shape, leaving a window that reveals the filling in the middle, and pinch well the edges around the filling so they wouldn’t open during baking. Place them on the same tray again and freeze for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can use ¾ a teaspoon of Nutella in each cookie.
Heat the oven to 170℃. Take out the cookies from the freezer, sprinkle some Maldon salt on top of the Nutella Hamantaschen only (the PB&J cookies have enough saltiness), and bake for 12 minutes, placing the baking pan at the second lower part of the oven, so the cookies will be baked but not browned on top. Optional: dust powdered sugar on top after they are cooling down. I prefer them without it.
I hope you’d make them and if you do, please tag me on Instagram – @ShirEats. I want to see your creations!